I was sad to hear the other day about the death of 58-year-old Micah True, also known as Caballo Blanco, the ultra marathoner who went out for his regular 12-mile run in the Gila Wilderness area in New Mexico and never came back. He wasn’t known to have any health issues and he’d run all over those trails like they were his backyard playground. As I write this, the autopsy is pending.
I first became aware of him when I read BORN TO RUN by Chris McDougall. I posted about this remarkable story back in July 2010. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. It’s the account of True’s residence with the Tarahumara Indians in the harsh Copper Canyons in Mexico. The members of this tribe think nothing of 100-mile runs for fun. They are the world’s most natural ultra-marathoners. And they do it practically barefoot.
BORN TO RUN sparked the interest in shoe mechanics and caused the spike in sales of barefoot runners. At least for me.
True was the race director of the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, which sends runners through the desert for 50 punishing miles.
With his death, the fate of future races is up in the air. That’s a shame because he loved the area and the race so much. I hope it doesn’t go away and someone steps up to turn it into his legacy.
Hal Higdon runs and writes about running. He said, “The marathon never ceases to be a race of joy, a race of wonder.”
I have the feeling every time Micah True ran it was a race of joy.